Throughout the history of the United States, great strides have been made to expand voting rights to American citizens regardless of gender, race, and ethnicity. We now live in a country in which the voting rights of our diverse population are guaranteed by law, and with these rights comes an important responsibility to exercise them and contribute to the democratic process. As the crucial 2020 election approaches, it is important for New York voters to understand some of their specific rights that may impact the voting process.
Understanding the New York Voter’s Bill of Rights
The State of New York has published a Voter’s Bill of Rights that guarantees certain protections for voters throughout the state. Among these are:
- The right to vote and have your votes count. New York voters are guaranteed the ability and enough time to vote on all matters included in the ballot for their jurisdiction. They also have the right to a functioning voting system that accurately counts all votes.
- The right to secrecy and freedom in voting. New York voters may not be required to disclose their votes to any other person and are guaranteed protection from those who would attempt to influence their vote by intimidation or force.
- The right to permanent registration. New Yorkers are required to register to vote only once, after which they will be eligible to vote in any future elections in their jurisdiction. Note, however, that it is important to update your address with the New York Board of Elections if you move to a new jurisdiction.
- The right to accessible elections and assistance in voting. New York voters are guaranteed equal voting access regardless of physical ability, language, and location at the time of the election. The State must have systems in place to ensure voting accessibility and provide assistance to those who are visually impaired or unable to read or write.
- The right to instruction in voting. The State of New York makes a sample ballot available to voters before the election to help them prepare, and must also provide instructions as to how to properly cast a ballot to any voters who request them.
- The right to affidavit voting. If a voter does not have the required identification documents at the time of voting, or if his or her name does not appear in the registration record, the voter has the right to vote via an affidavit ballot affirming the right to vote within the jurisdiction.
Contact a New York Attorney
At JOEY JACKSON LAW, PLLC, we are invested in making sure that all eligible voters are able to exercise their voting rights. If you have questions about the registration or voting process, or if you believe that your voting rights have been violated, we want to help. Contact a passionate Queens lawyer today at 833-563-9522.